The Best Dress

Whether tall or short, apple- or pear-shaped, curvy or slender, all brides-to-be deserve to look fabulous in her wedding gown. It’s easy to fall in love with a gown you see on TV or in the pages of a magazine, but when you head to the bridal salon, you have to face facts — not all dresses look good on all women.
As you know, the key to pulling off any dress successfully is wearing it with pure, unadulterated confidence; however, here are a few more tips for picking the most flattering wedding gown.

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TALL BRIDES

You’re every inch the statuesque bride, but err on the side of simplicity when it comes to picking out a wedding gown. Your height can handle a small amount of embellishment without becoming overwhelming, but too many ruffles or rosettes can look a bit cutesy on a lady of your stature. It’s important to get the proportions right so it doesn’t seem as if you’ve donned a gown meant for someone shorter than you. The hem should sweep the floor, and the sleeves, if you’re wearing them, should reach just past the wrist. Tall brides naturally have longer waists, so you can likely look fabulous in trendy dropped-waist gowns.
Gowns to try: Trumpet, ball gown

PETITE BRIDES

It might seem odd, but many of rules that apply to tall brides work for you, too — just for different reasons. Look for smaller embellishments rather than large bows or oversized flowers. They won’t look cutesy on you, but rather overwhelm your small frame. Proportions are just as important because you don’t want to be tripping over your skirt’s hem as you go down the aisle. You could get lost inside a ball gown silhouette, so stick to the cleaner, flowing lines of a sheath or A-line gown that has a natural waistline.
Gowns to try: Sheath, trumpet, A-line

PEAR-SHAPED BRIDES

You have a small top and larger bottom, so focus on your best attributes while minimizing others. A full A-line skirt or ball gown will hide a heavier lower half, while a cinched waist — that trend of brightly colored sashes was made for you — and strapless neckline will emphasize your narrow midsection and tiny shoulders. Sturdy fabrics such as thick satin or taffeta are the best choices because it won’t cling to your body. Stay away from unflattering sheaths or trumpet styles, which will emphasize the bottom half of your body.
Gowns to try: Ball gown, full A-lines, strapless necklines

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APPLE-SHAPED BRIDES

It’s all about finding the right balance for apple-shaped brides. Your perfect dress will cinch at the smallest point of your waist, but it must hit at exactly the right point to be flattering — the last thing you want to do is call attention to a wider part of your body! Look for a dress that has ruching or extra detailing on the bodice, but not too much because it can add bulk. Dropped waists, trumpet, and mermaid styles, while trendy, won’t do you any favors as they emphasize the wrong parts of your body. Take a chance on an empire waist — if the fabric starts flowing at the right point, it could be very flattering.
Gowns to try: Flowing A-lines, corseted bodices, deep V necklines

Equinox Photo

STRAIGHT-LINE BRIDES

Let’s add some curves to that silhouette! You’re one of the few gals that can get away with a sexy sheath gown, or you can go a different direction with a ball gown that emphasizes your natural waist and then cascades into a floor-length skirt. Gowns with ruching are the best for creating curves and volume to a body that doesn’t naturally have them.
Gowns to try: Sheaths, ball gowns

BUSTY BRIDES

Finding a gown with plenty of support that doesn’t show too much cleavage is the ticket for busty brides. It’s tempting to wear a plunging neckline to highlight your décolletage, but remember that grandma sitting in the front row might not appreciate that as much as your husband-to-be. Instead, look for a scooped neckline (the straps will offer support) or a sweetheart neckline. Strapless dresses that are cut straight across will make your bust appear bigger and shelf-like.
Gowns to try: Scooped necklines, sweetheart necklines

Even though these are all good guidelines to follow, there’s not a one-size-fits-all gown for groups of body types. While a sweetheart neckline might look beautiful on one busty bride, another could find her perfect dress to be a halter top. Now that you’ve educated yourself on the potential silhouettes and necklines for your body shape, head to the bridal salon, and keep an open mind — you never know when you’ll find “the one.”

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